For about four years of my life I taught Catholic high school and have heard just about every question on Faith that exists. I think I heard every moral scenario on any number of topics, theological errors, and even historical misrenderings. Here are the Top Ten Most Misunderstood Things of our Faith.
- Immaculate Conception (Mary not Jesus): often I heard students try to convince me that the Immaculate Conception was about Jesus’ conception. Of course, when I explained it was Mary’s conception, the scandal grows even more.
- Purgatory (second chance): The idea that purgatory is a second chance and a person can live a sinful life and always repent in purgatory is sometimes believed. I used to tell the kids, “It is kind of like Gladiator, ‘What you do here echoes for eternity.” The way we live now is the way we want to live forever.
- Annulment vs. divorce: “They are the same only annulment is Catholic.” Well not really. One declares a union hasn’t properly existed from the beginning and the other thinks it separates the union.
- Birth control vs. NFP: Similar to number 3, but in this case it is the means that are very different and make all the difference.
- Masculinity and priesthood: Why would a woman want to be a priest anyways? Think about it; there is a feminine version of priest called “priestess.” Not that the Church will allow priestesses, but still at least get your words straight if you want to even argue the point. It would be the same as saying, “I think men should conceive.”
- Sin vs. sinner: As a teacher, I had to always drive the point that when I taught on matters of morality, I was never casting judgment on a person and thank God right, I would never want that job. However, an action can be judged and the personal accountability rests on the person’s free will and knowledge which both must be present for a mortal sin to be committed.
- Hard cases of abortion: I have heard too often from a well- meaning 16 year olds that think they are liberalized and Catholic by holding the fatal compromise “I am pro-life except for rape, incest, and health of the mother.” Don’t get me wrong, those are definitely hard cases to bear the cross, but is it really worth the life of another?
- Mortification: This one was always funny for me. I was an athlete in high school and always knew that I had to train and keep in shape to compete. Yea, it would have been great to just show up at games and mystically my mind would change the physique of my body, but that is not reality. Mortification is our way of whipping us into spiritual shape. Note: I am not saying I am good at it.
- Crusades and Inquisition: Yes, I am sure so many unjust actions took place during the Crusades but it is still important to get information right. The legitimate ones were for defending innocent people not to convert non-Catholics. The Inquisition did try to root out heresy and for the most part was run well. “Heretic” is often misunderstood too; the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 2089: “Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. ‘Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.’” So notice, a heretic is one who rejects the faith and it takes place post-baptismally.
- Galileo: A number of misnomers here: Heliocentricity is not really true, the sun is not the center of the universe. Galileo and the contemporary pope had a difficult personal relationship whereby each lobbed personal attacks on the other. Galileo could not prove his case at that time. So many more. See below, Galileo was laid to rest in the Basillica di Santa Croce, Florence.
Last week’s winner for the book give away is FRWBS, I think his list of catholicized wines take the cake…or cheese. FRWBS contact me and I will send the book along.
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/JTDTAT-Childrens-House-Copy-e1329964684276.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jared Tomanek lives in the country of Texas with his wife Denise, a Southern Belle from Trinidad and Tobago, and his three children. He holds two graduate degrees from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, an MBA and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Having taught for five years in Catholic education, he now works in the construction industry in Victoria, TX. He is a parishioner of Holy Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Parish in the Diocese of Victoria.[/author_info] [/author]